PAL Lays Off 2,300 Workers as Pandemic Continues

The affected personnel will continue to be employed until mid-March 2021.

PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Thor Jorgen Udvang

(SPOT.ph) As the country deals with what seems to be a never-ending bout against the pandemic, the tourism and aviation industries continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing quarantine. And flag carrier Philippine Airlines is one of the most affected as most of their planes have been grounded since March. In a statement released on February 2, the aviation company announced that they're "implementing a company-wide workforce reduction program covering about 2,300 employees, approximately 30% of the airline’s workforce."

The affected personnel, which includes both voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment, will continue to be employed and receive their salaries and medical benefits until mid-March 2021. They were also told of the situation as early as October 2020.

Prior to retrenchment, Philippine Airlines implemented temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to hold off job cuts as long as they can. They have also suspended capital expenditures, reduced management salaries, deferred lease payments, and slashed non-essential expenses to keep the company afloat.

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"This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition. We extend to you our deepest gratitude for your years of hard work and dedicated service, and we will always cherish the ties you have established with the PAL family," said PAL President Gilbert Santa Maria.

While tourism and air travel are slowly restarting, the aviation company stated that "it is still far from pre-pandemic levels." They're currently operating less than 30% of their normal flights.

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